RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – He’s represented families in several high-profile police killings, from George Floyd to Breonna Taylor. Now, prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said he will be coming to the aid of Irvo Otieno’s family.
This comes days after seven Henrico Sheriff’s Office deputies were charged with Otieno’s murder.
“It is truly shocking that nearly three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police, another family is grieving a loved one who allegedly died in nearly the exact same manner –– being pinned down by police for 12 agonizing minutes,” Crump said in a statement. “The family has not yet seen the video, but what has been described to us paints a heinous and inhumane image.”
Mark Krudys, who also represents the family, said the abuse against Otieno started in the Henrico Jail.
“My understanding is that he’s naked in the cell,” Krudys said. “He at some point they pepper spray him they do not remove, give him the opportunity, my understanding to wash the pepper spray away.”
Krudys also described what Oteino’s mother saw leading up to an emergency custody order placed on the 28-year-old on March 3.
He said Otieno was experiencing a mental health crisis.
“The mother, Carolynn Ocho, came out, and she sought to protect her son. She wrapped her arms around him and implored the police not to do anything,” Krudys said. “She was concerned that they might take some type of aggressive action.”
Three days later, Otieno died from asphyxiation while being restrained at Central State Hospital, according to the Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney.
“I just remember Ivor as being just a good person, and so it’s tough to kind of imagine those things happening to him,” Zach Weiss, who went to Douglas Freeman High School with Otieno, said.